Heroes of Might and Magic goes browser-based

Here’s the article on Blue’s News.

The press release:

LONDON, UK –13th December, 2007 – Today Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, announced that Heroes of Might and Magic® Kingdoms , a new Web-based game in the critically-acclaimed Heroes of Might and Magic series is being developed for a Spring 2008 worldwide launch.

Heroes of Might and Magic Kingdoms is a strategy game set in a persistent version of the heroic-fantasy world of Heroes of Might and Magic. Thousands of players will be able to rule their virtual kingdoms, lead gigantic armies against each other, master the trades or create legendary heroes. The game requires no download or installation, only an Internet connection. In addition, players can play at their own pace; from 10 minutes to multiple-hour sessions.

“This is a new type of game for Ubisoft, one that allows you to jump into a rich and complex universe just with your Web browser,” said Serge Hascoët, Chief Creative Officer. “Heroes of Might and Magic Kingdoms will open a wide door to the Might and Magic universe, allowing players to immerse themselves within it unlike ever before.”

An exclusive key for the beta test is hidden in the Heroes of Might and Magic Complete Edition that releases today, you can also register on www.hommkingdoms.com.

I’ve not played 5, or even 4, but from what I’ve heard, it seems as though Ubisoft kind of hasn’t known in recent years what to do with the series. Browser-based is certainly an interesting, and even bold direction.

I wonder how similar it will be to other browser-based persistant strategy games, like Travian. Travian was neat at first, but I dropped it pretty quickly once I started becoming the target of constant raids.

I’ve played every game in the series. It’s true that 4 branched out a bit too far, too quickly, but 5 was and is still a great game, hindered only by the fact it’s still what it was all along, a slower paced strategy game that can take decent amount of time to play. A lot of people like that style of play, some do not though.

If all this was underneath was say, Heroes 2 or 3 in web form I still think that would be a great way to play, as well as a great introduction to the setting for a lot of folks.

V is good, but good lord does the campaign design suck. Also, that graphics engine is a massive hog for how average it looks.

IV was admittedly pushed out the door before it was done, and it shows. Not the worst game ever by any stretch, but definitely the worst in the series.

I-III are amazing.

Agreed in every way. 2 and 3 provided years of gaming enjoyment for me while I was stationed overseas in the military. I must have collected thousands of scenario maps by the time I finally got out. Hell now I want to reload 3 just after talking about it.

AS a fanboy, I am going to say, cool. I even played the hell out of IV. As long as the game is kept alive with its core lements intact in any form, I am happy.

I’m hyped. :) HOMM II is one of my favorite games of all time.

This concept interests me, particularly since I always liked the idea of HoMM multiplayer, but found the scenario length problematic. A persistent setting, though… could be cool.

How does this game make money, though? The website says that it will be free. Can we expect tons of obnoxious ads sprinkled around the interface?

Where did it say it was going to be free? I didn’t see anything on the site about any sort of business model.

Does anyone know what type of tech they are using? If it’s browser-based and not a download, then is it Flash? Java? Something else?

Front page, under “Features.”

Play online with thousands of players.
Play at your own pace.
Play wherever you want (no download, no installation required), you only need an Internet connection.
Play for free as long as you want

I guess that doesn’t discount the possibility of having an optional subscription model, as a lot of these games do. Perhaps that’s how it will work.

thanks… yeah, that still leaves some unanswered questions. Obviously, there has to be SOME sort of business model. (it’s interesting that everyone in the BETA has to buy a copy of HOMM5. Could they extend that for the final game? Probably not a very good idea…)

Sounds promising, especially MP play!

We were never able to finish a whole game of 5 on LAN - the game would always eventually desync.

Hm. If the gameplay is HOMM, this could be very cool. If it takes its cues from the web-based TBS in existence, it will fucking blow. I’ve tried a fair number of those, and I can’t bring myself to care.

Sweet Lord, there goes my productivity at work.

You could totally recreate a 2d HOMM game in Flash nowadays that played just like the originals.

I don’t know if that’s what they are doing here, but it does look like they are using flash at least. Most of the web-based TBS games I’ve seen are HTML/database driven affairs.

Some thoughts:

With cities to build up, armies to recruit, heroes to develop, and, from the looks of it, territory to manage, it looks like there will be a lot of opportunities for strategic depth. That’s promising.

The site says that you can play as little as 15 minutes a day. This suggests they’re going to do something similar to other browser-based games, where you have X number of ‘moves’ or ‘turns’ or actions in a day.

Therein lies what most gives me pause. Almost without fail, the people who have been playing the longest WILL be more powerful. If you’re going to have thousands of players playing together competetively, they’re going to have to have a pretty solid system in place to make sure that newbie players aren’t just cattle for the big dogs. As Lum said, “you gotta keep ‘em separated".

You know what would be really nice? If they let you spawn your own self-contained, persistant game. You know, like a big, epic HoMM game with only Qt3 folk playing, everybody starting at the same time. To me anyway, that kind of community approach is more interesting than yet another giant world with a thousand faceless strangers.

This is up now.


Anyone played it?

I can’t get that link to work, but did a browser game really take Ubisoft three years to make?

They spent half of that just typing the bloody URL. Not exactly catchy, is it?

Yeah. I don’t know. The registration process fails for me. :\

Edit: Ah. I guess it was out in other countries for a while.

Started a few days ago. Like it so far, with several interesting choices and judgements to make, but a serious lack of documentation means a lot of experimenting to see what works (eg. I can’t figure out if Bless is worth learning, because the spell description implies that it only works on defence - thus is possibly useless for clearing monsters from the start area).

Luckily there is a 2-hour single player demo to let you try stuff out - highly speeded up so attacks that would take 2 hours normally are resolved in 1 minute (or thereabouts).

My tip: play Inferno - it seems a little underplayed, so you might pick up your favoured rare resources cheaply at the auction house.